Thought I'd tease you with the terrible things to expect. Let me know what you think and if it's worth giving me money for lunch. The artwork above is from Lusine - "The Waiting Room". S'alright.


Auf Wiedersehen


At midday in the anteroom of one of the many hospitals of

this world sat a curious pair, a man and woman. The man, taller than the woman,

was of a wearied and greying complexion. His hair had begun its path to the

grey, but his steel blue eyes concealed a warmth seemingly much junior to the

head they peered out from. His beard and worn cheeks were intermittently

covered by the hands of his companion, as they caressed his face with members

rendered root-like by a myriad of veins and wrinkles. One could not see the

woman much, save to say for the time being that she was very old, as one could

gather from her hands and the boughs of grey hair that would emerge over the

man’s shoulders with every caress.


“I love you”, she would say. To which the man would reply,


“I know”.


The manner in which he answered was lilting and somewhat

musical; a keen listener could uproot a slight note of condescension, as if he

were humouring a child. This exchange between the pair continued for some

minutes. A simple statement and refrain, a call of the elder and answer of the

junior. It would seem rather perverse to an observer, how the younger towered

over the elder, like an oak beside the sapling, an unsettling reversal. The man

began to tire of the saccharine declarations of the elder lady, evident from

his occasional lapse in reply. The old sapling would then increase the vigour

of her declarations, desperately seeking assurance in the lilt of the junior oak,

and would inevitably receive an increasingly tired, but expressive,


“I know”.


Eventually sensing that their time of waiting was over, the

man helped the old lady to her feet, physically frail as she seemed to be. They

inched across the sterile linoleum, the man perhaps aware that those waiting

elsewhere in the room observed the pair in that disinterested manner people do

in confined and unstimulating circumstances. The old lady focused on her feet.

Moving was trouble. They had only made it half way between their seat and their

aim when the double doors of the ward swung open. Out stepped the nurse.

Straightening the blue and white habit of medics, and fixing

the already serviceable knot of her hair, she approached the curious pair with

some consternation. Reaching out her hand to the old lady, she spoke in a warm

and slightly musical timbre,


“How are you?”

 

A simple question,

but the old lady became frightened. She had withdrawn her hand from the nurse

in a jerk and buried her head in the arms of the man. All the while the nurse

said nothing more, and for what seemed like a considerable span of time she

maintained her hand in outstretched greeting. The nurse’s words and patient

hand would meet no reply. Releasing her hand from its position of awkwardness,

she looked towards the old lady head askance and with no small amount of pain.

The man seemed to find the situation unbearable, motioning for the old sapling

to look towards the nurse, saying in that characteristic lilt,


“Don’t you remember? This is your daughter”.


Fear gripped the old lady tighter, burying her head even

further into the boughs of the tall man. The nurse and the oak looked at one

another, likely understanding that which the sapling could not. After a time

the elder was back to herself, repeating the same statements of love. The man’s

replies became more discordant and fatigued. The nurse said nothing. All three

eventually disappeared through the ward doors. Observers in the room, those

with fractures and other physical maladies, counted their stars.